It's always pretty unfortunate when we find a talented young artist here on dA when they are just too young to hold an account with us. Today I would like to talk about what to do when you stumble across a deviant that is under the age of 13 years old. So what do we consider to be "underage" and what does dA do about it?
dA complies with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
, meaning we prohibit any child under the age of 13 from opening and using a dA account. Even with parental permissions this restriction must stay in place.
When an underage kiddo is brought to our attention their account will be closed automatically. COPPA closed accounts are kept as they are until their owner reaches our minimum required age. Upon verification of their age their account can be restored to active status and all its contents will still be there.
For more information on what COPPA is please go here: COPPA.org
.So what do I do if I find someone under 13 years old?
Report it to us in the Support Center!
We recently had a new choice added to the bunch under the Copyright & Etiquette Administration categories for easier reporting! Go to our Contact page
and pick "COPPA Report" from the category drop down menu. And the Award for The Best Evidence goes to...
We know it can be a little tricky finding evidence to prove a deviant's age, but we can't just take another deviant's word. We need proof. Before anything always make sure you provide the deviant's username and any information you might have about their age. Keep in mind that we cannot act just on suspicions about their age based on their typing skills, use of chat-speak or the quality of their work.
The absolute best kind of evidence you can offer is links to public confessions. If you notice an underager has openly stated their age in a comment make sure you provide a link to it in your report! Steps on how to link to a comment are here
. Journal entries can be linked to as well! Open the specific journal page and copy and paste the journal's URL to link to it.
If it's not something you can link to make sure you offer as much information about your evidence as you can. Be absolutely clear and to the point!
For example: "This deviant is underage. I know them in real life."
isn't a good report. There's no username or links or any verifiable evidence there. Who is this deviant? And can you prove their age?
A good COPPA Report will look like the following: "Deviant Underage-McYoungster posted a comment in the forum saying they're 11 years old! The link to the comment is [link]. They also stated it in their ID module and in their journal [link]."
This report is great! It's short, offered usable evidence and gave us plenty of information to go on to start our investigation.Tips on how to handle yourself: Don't be a jerk!
We understand it's frustrating to find someone who is breaking our policies. But, attacking anyone over this not only creates more work for us, it also puts yourself at risk of administrative action taken against your account. Don't confront them.
Confronting a deviant over being underage inadvertently tips them off to do whatever they can to hide all the evidence. This makes it extremely hard to verify the information you give us in your report. Confrontation is unnecessary. They don't need you to tell them they're underage, they know already! Don't write a journal/forum thread about it.
Again, this might tip them off! And, more importantly, it's absolutely unnecessary to draw more attention to this deviant. We don't need anything more than one report to open up an investigation. Encouraging others to go to their page and hound them over their age or to flood the Support Center with reports about them only adds to the problem and extends the wait time for the case to be resolved. And remember, if you're deliberately telling others to harass someone you're putting yourself at risk for removal from our awesome community!I took a screencap of the proof. How come you won't accept it?
Screencaps can unfortunately be doctored so we cannot take them as evidence. We've had issues in the past where individuals were creating fake screencaps in attempts to get someone banned. We're not calling you a liar! It's just that we can only take action against someone if there's verifiable proof. Don't be discouraged! If we can't take action now that's not to say proof won't be available again at another time.
Our new category for COPPA Reports will help ensure these are handled quickly so be sure you categorize your report correctly!